Tag Archives: children

More things that were said

People say weird things. It’s a fact.

In a previous post, I have provided examples of things that I never thought I would hear myself say. These have mostly come about as a result of mishearing someone, catching things out of context, or trying to explain things to small children. So in interest of trying to provide some form of amusement for folks on the internet, I’m going to do it again. Enjoy some more things I never thought I’d say.

#1) “It’s like the most disgusting set of jingle bells.”

#2) “Vanilla sherbet is just vanilla ice cream.”

#3) “Drum, drum, drum on my tum, tum, tum.”

#4) “It appears that it’s a festival of poo.”

#5) “The dinosaur chicken made her sad.”

#6) “Don’t touch the goat water!”

#7) “Why is she yelling about the meat?”

#8) “I guess the chipmunk looks like a frog.”

Okay, folks. That’s all I got. Sorry for the ridiculously short post. Other things have been taking priority lately, but I wanted to get at least something on this blog before June was gone. I’ll try to do better next month.

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Kid show mutterings

We no longer have cable. Like more people seem to be doing, what TV we watch is from Netflix and Hulu. Now part of the decision was because most of the TV we watch are the kid shows the girls like. As I’ve stated in the past, there are some very good cartoons and such that the kids like. There are some that are irritating but still okay. Then there are those that are so horrible, so cringe-inducing that we do our best to prevent the kids from watching them.

The bombardment of child-focused television causes my brain to enter strange places. Are these thoughts normal for all parents? Is my chemically imbalanced mind alone the place these thoughts dwell? You be the judge.

#1) How does Telly from “Sesame Street” not have ulcers yet?

#2) I think most of the problems on “Curious George” could be resolved by NOT letting the monkey run around unattended.

#3) Also in regards to #2, Curious George is an ape! He is not a monkey!

#4) The merkids on “Bubble Guppies” seem to be the only ones of their kind, surrounded by fish and sea creatures. So are they actually mutant fish or some form of Missing Link?

#5) How does Ramone on “Peg+Cat” have so many jobs? Does he still go to school or did he test out due to a superior IQ?

#6) I find “Wallykazam” much funnier than I probably have any right to as an adult.

#7) Am I the only one who looks at “Doc McStuffins” and sees the potential for a future supervillain?

#8) What do the parents in “The Pajanimals” actually look like? Did the mom naturally give birth to four different animal species or is this a case of adoption?

#9) The puppets and makeup for “LazyTown” are terrifying.

#10) Has anyone involved with the creation of “Caillou” been brought to justice?

These are but a sample of the things I now consider. They pop into my head at unexpected times. The related show doesn’t even need to be on. What have I become?

 

More Dad Haikus

MYSTERIES

There must be answers.

Yet, daughter, I can’t explain

why you won’t eat lunch.

 

BATH

The screams of pure rage.

You thrash as if set aflame.

It’s only shampoo.

 

CAT

The toddler hugs you.

Feline eyes call out to me,

“What fresh hell is this?”

 

SILENCE

The talking has stopped.

Perhaps the kids are asleep.

No. They plot my doom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family Vacation: What I learned

We recently got back from a trip to Florida. The purpose was to give my dad a sort of birthday present (he turns 70 this month) of having all 4 of the grandchildren on a trip together. So my wife and I went with the girls and Pam, my sister, went with our niece & nephew. My brother-in-law was unable to make it due to work. The third sibling, my brother, was also not there but he likely didn’t want to go. So we had a total of 5 adults with my parents, sister, Lisa and myself. The 4 kids are between the ages of 3 and 7. So obviously, they had the advantage over the adults.

Did we have fun? Sure, there was fun. The kids seemed to enjoy playing together, though there was a large amount of whining. I’m also sure I speak for many when I say putting extended family together for a long time is not without stress. But this whole thing was a learning experience, so I will now share the knowledge that has been bestowed upon my squishy brain matter.

FLYING WITH KIDS IS A PAIN- We had a 2 hour delay for our flight to Florida. This pretty much killed the excitement of 5-year-old Phoebe, who now panicked that the trip was ruined. By the time we got on the plane and took off, she hadn’t fully recovered. Zoe, the cranky pants toddler, was tired but did not manage to fall asleep until about 20 minutes before landing. However, we also had a yappy dog on the plane that barked the whole time. The flight home was very early and Phoebe spent most of it being difficult. Zoe was pretty good, only fussing once which was cancelled by the presence of apple juice. This was the opposite of what we expected, having thought Phoebe would be excited by the plane and entertained and Zoe would get cranky. So maybe next time, which may very well be in a few years, we’ll just drive.

LET THE GRANDPARENTS TAKE THE KIDS- If my mom or dad wanted to go somewhere with the kids, they pretty much got it. Lisa and I were able to get a few moments of quiet and even got to go out after the kids went to bed. Once just the two of us and once with Pam, who by that point needed the break as well. Plus, we all got to take a nap at least once! How awesome is that? How sad is it that I get excited about naps?

BE BETTER AT PLANNING OUTINGS- Somehow we ended up going to the Naples Zoo on one of the hottest days of the week. Needless to say, everyone was cranky about halfway into the time there. Also, the animals as a whole were smarter than us and mostly laid around in whatever shade was present. Good for you, striped hyena and honey badger. Bad for the tourists, us included. Zoe also clarified that every big cat she saw apparently goes “meow, meow”. I’m sure the 3-year-old has conducted scientific research so pass this on to the tigers and leopards. No roaring for you. It’s “meow, meow” or nothing. So sayeth the toddler.

We’ve taken short little weekend trips with the kids in the past, but this was our first big family trip. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for vacations with Phoebe and Zoe. People keep asking us if we’ll do a Disney trip with them, which I think is possible but certainly not until they are old enough to remember it better. This is the question about the trip we just took. Will they remember much of it? A little, I think, but it will probably be more along the lines of how they had fun with their grandparents and cousins. So I think vacations like trips to Disney World and things like that can wait until Lisa and I don’t have to change diapers at the airport.

 

 

That “F” word

Welcome back, folks. It has been over a month. I was going to try to make a return in small steps, but screw it. I’m pissed and I have a little ranting to do.

All right, people. I’m not the best person to do this but I’m giving it a shot. Here it goes. Being a feminist isn’t a bad thing. I’m ashamed to say it took me some time to admit this, but I’m more pissed that there are still people who don’t understand that it’s not something bad. It’s about people getting equal treatment regardless of gender, not man-hating! This isn’t to say that there aren’t women who treat men like dirt. There are and those women are assholes. THEY ARE NOT FEMINISTS. They are simply assholes. Vaginal assholes, if you must, but assholes and nothing more.

Now I’m trying to be better about being an active ally. So if I catch people being assholes (and it’s mostly “bros”) to women, I make a point to call it out. The response tends to be that I’m either trying to get laid or a social justice warrior or white knight. Fine. I’ve been called plenty of names that were much worse and I’ll survive. But it’s not okay that this is an issue. It’s not okay that my friends get cat-called or my wife has men telling here she should smile more when she’s at work. It certainly is fucking ok to make death threats when a woman doesn’t want to listen to your lame pick up lines.

Why is this pissing me off so much right now? For one, there is no reason anyone should be treated so poorly or have to be scared so much. All lot of people want to pretend these problems women have aren’t real. I never thought it was as bad as it is, until social media came along. The scum really seems to come out now. Also, when women get stereotyped it hurts men too. Why is the most common way for guys to insult another man something in the vibe of “Stop acting like a girl” and such? Why do fathers taking care of their kids get compared to babysitting as opposed to just being a parent?

What is particularly important to me is I have two daughters who are going to grow up someday. I do not want them dealing with this shit. There is a lot of scary crap going on in the world and this is a big part of the problem. Feminism is something that can help, but it’s been dragged through Hell by a lot of gross talking heads over the years. People are afraid of it. They don’t need to be.

This probably wasn’t the best subject for my first post after a hiatus. But anger is a motivator and I’d rather be constructive with it if I can. I promise I will talk about silly kid things and nerdy stuff again soon. But like many people, I’m tired and angry about a lot of things. This is a big one. And we need to start owning it and not ignoring.

More years to come

My eldest daughter, Phoebe, will turn 5 in less than a week. In July, her sister Zoe will turn 3. I’m of mixed feelings about this whole growing up thing my kids are doing. It’s also really weird to think that it has been about 5 years since I’ve become someone’s parent.

How did that happen? Well, of course I know how it happened. I was there. Also, I’ve been to the zoo.

It’s just bizarre to me. I have these two little girls that call me “daddy” who I love more than I thought possible. There are also days they make me want to dig a hole in the yard and hide for the rest of my life. My wife and I constantly talk about which one is going to give us more trouble in the years ahead. They are both so different, yet both so stubborn! And they are both so cute and they make me laugh and smile. I look at them and get so scared thinking about the horrible shit they may go through. I constantly worry about how the world will treat them because they are girls, and how they will treat them when they are women. When it comes to them, I question almost everything I do for fear that I will screw them up. That being said, I think all parents screw up at some point. So chances are I probably have and will do so again, no matter how hard I try.

Phoebe is a talker and silly. She wants to say hello to everyone and is easily distracted. Zoe is sweet and sensitive. She gets so excited by animals and has a little temper.

My kids are getting older. I am getting older. Nothing is going to stop this and, unless something horrible occurs, I am in for many more years of this stuff. I will be tired and grumpy. I will be heartbroken. I will be proud and amused and terrified. And in the future, I will almost certainly embarrass some teenagers.

Cool.

A Pillow Fort of Awesomeness

I had a dream. I had an awesome dream.

No wait, I’m pretty sure that was Lionel Richie. Well, I think my dream was still pretty great.

Superman has the Fortress of Solitude. Is a pillow fort too much to ask? I dream of a pillow fort. A castle, squishy and true, that will be my own. A place of blankets and snacks and piles of books. Accessible to others only by answering three questions, each more daunting than the last. A Pillow Fort of Awesomeness!

But how will it be protected from invaders? The walls of a pillow fort would do little to withstand the onslaught of Vikings or other surly folk. Fear not! My Pillow Fort of Awesomeness will be guarded by trained skunks. It will be armed with trebuchets that launch bags of marbles and durian fruit. Also, I’m pretty sure pillow forts are low on the priorities of most roving bandits. Though I’m pretty sure my wife and kids will try to get in. But I’m fond of them, so that’s ok. I might make them bring their own snacks, though.

Now, to face reality. The Pillow Fort of Awesomeness is something that will not happen. Oh, the idea is glorious. But the time required for the undertaking of building the fort is something I don’t have. Also, the financial aspect of it is far too great for my pocket. Never mind acquiring and training the skunks. Never mind that I don’t know the first thing about building a successful trebuchet. Never mind that I really don’t feel like stockpiling durian fruit.

I just don’t own that many pillows.

Sock rebellion

The weather is (happily) becoming cooler. Now, even though I am pleased when it starts to get colder there are some people who wish it would stay warm. I can only assume these people are connected to some infernal bloodline which thrives on fire. It’s the only thing that makes sense.

Of course, I still have to dress differently for the cooler weather which is fine. Long pants, long sleeves, and socks. Preferably Smartwool socks, when I have a clean pair. But I notice that my children seem to differ in opinion, particularly Zoe. She seems to hate socks. We put them on her, but the get pulled off pretty quickly. Phoebe used to do this too, but she seems to have largely stopped. It could have something to do with the fact that she’s old enough to want to have socks with Disney princesses and My Little Ponies on them. But once in a while, she joins her little sister in combined sock rebellion.

Don’t get me wrong, the girls have cute little feet. But I worry that they will become cold little feet. Not that it seems to bug either of them. I’ll touch Zoe’s bare foot and it will be ice-cold. I ask why she keeps taking her socks off. Because she’s two, she pretty much just laughs at me. And the additional frustration comes from the fact that once taken off, the offending socks may disappear. If not collected quickly enough, they can get sucked into some kind of vortex in the multiverse. Or possibly Narnia. I’m not sure because we still have missing socks and the ones that do turn up offer no clues. As you know, socks don’t talk. Not unless you make them into sock puppets, but then they only know what you know which often isn’t much.

I don’t get it. Is this something that all little kids do? I don’t remember doing this. Neither of my parents ever told me that I did. Is this a new thing? Did some kind of psychic memo start to circulate between toddlers of the world? Do they consider socks a tool of the parental establishment? Or are my kids just a pair of sock-hating goofballs? Maybe this is an omen of things to come. What if the girls slowly rebel against all clothes and join a nudist community? What if they start trying to wear gloves on their feet and hats as pants? I just don’t know where this ends.

Bully

I like to think of myself as a very tolerant guy. With most things I’m pretty easy-going. I don’t make a habit of judging because I don’t know how to be perfect. I get frustrated, I screw up, I let my faults get the best of me sometimes. I try my best to be a little better each day. Sure there are things that people do I don’t like. Sometimes I get pissed off about it. But in the end, there are very few things that I truly hate and refuse to put up with.

I hate bullying. I am against the practice and it enrages me more than just about anything else.

Does this come from personal experience? You bet it goes. I’m one of those people who was a geek before it was socially acceptable. I’m also not a very big guy. So yeah, I was a target of more than one bully. I also look back on my life and realize something that I’m not proud of. I’m pretty sure there were a few times when acted like a bully myself. What? Someone can get bullied and then tries to do the same to someone else? What form of voodoo is this?

Do I still encounter this as an adult? Yes, I do. Not from the same people, of course. I’ve actually had the experience of being bullied by someone when we were young and then, when we were both older, being friends because people can actually grow and change. Sadly, this isn’t everyone. And to me, adults who bully other adults are just pathetic examples of humanity. It reinforces the idea that some people never move past who they were as children. And now the tactic doesn’t scare me. It just gets me mad. But it does make me wonder who made this particular bully. Was it a peer? A parent? Just poor decision-making?

This brings me to something that really upsets me, which is parents who are bullies. Do you honestly think you are raising a well-adjusted person? You think that’s making your child strong? Sorry, but you are just raising an asshole and probably another bully. And don’t think it won’t bite you in the ass when you’re old. The bully you’ve helped create isn’t going to have much empathy for an elderly parent. I know people who were raised this way. They now have part of their personality that is a bully. I give credit to the ones who have acknowledged this and try to be better. The ones who can’t or won’t, I simply have no use for them in my life. Trust me, I understand that kids are a pain. I’ve been one and I’m raising two. But I refuse to sink to the level of bullying to get my kids to act a certain way. I’ll put it like this. Do you bully your child? Is that your go-to parenting tactic? Then you SUCK as a parent. You’ve failed. Period. You will never convince me otherwise.

I am happy that there has started to be a social backlash to bully behavior. And people who throw around the whole “We’re making pussies out of America” argument need to stop yelling and use their eyes and brains for a minute. Look at the country and the world at large. Do you really think raising the Legion of Ass-hats worked out well? And I’m willing to acknowledge that this argument has a point. A world of weak minds and hearts won’t get us anywhere either. But bullying does not build character. At best, it builds stand-up comedians. At worst, you get people who will cause pain with anything they can. They will use their politics, their religion, their money, their sheer physical strength. Because they have determined that this is how you get your way. Basically, we are a world of toddlers throwing temper tantrums. You can have a middle ground, people. I’m not in favor of handing out participation trophies when you didn’t win the game, but you can still acknowledge a person’s effort and encourage them to do better. It’s fine to thank someone for doing their job, especially if it’s not an easy one. No one is asking you to shower them with pots of gold and cupcakes. How hard is it for us to learn that we should treat people how we want to be treated? Apparently, pretty fucking hard.

Do you want to know what makes me the most angry about bullying now? You can’t escape it anymore. I’m terrified of what this means for my kids. Technology has made it easier to be a bully and never have to see the pain on your target’s face. They never have to see how alone, how less than human, this person now feels. Every time I hear about a kid trying to kill themselves (or succeeding in doing so) and bullying was the reason, I feel sick. It’s so much easier to do terrible things and not be accountable for it. It’s so tempting to just become a bully yourself. I love my kids and I’m confident that I can accept pretty much any choice they could make in their lives. If I ever find out that they were a bully to someone, I will unleash science fiction levels of punishment on them! And if anyone bullies them? In the words of one of my favorite authors, there will be a reckoning.

I’ve rambled a bit, and I apologize for that. Like I said, this enrages me. What is this need to cause pain in order to make ourselves feel big? I’m not completely naive. I know that bullying will never completely go away. But no one will ever convince me that trying to be a good person is a weakness. This is what I want my kids to embrace. It may be hard to do, but people need to realize there is a difference between a firm hand and a fist.